Regional grocery chain Pathmark Stores Inc today (Thursday) reported an increased loss for its first quarter ended 30 April 2005, despite higher sales.

Sales for the first quarter were $1.003bn up from $990.1m in the previous year's first quarter. The company reported a net loss of $2.1m compared to a net loss of $1.8m in the year earlier period.

The results for the first quarter of fiscal 2005 included pretax expenses of $0.9m related to the company's review of strategic alternatives, which was announced in December 2004.

"We are encouraged by improved sales in the quarter relative to our prior run rate," said CEO Eileen Scott. "We also saw an improvement in gross profit, which was offset by costs related to higher oil prices. Looking forward, we remain focused on driving sales and profitability through effective marketing programs and controlling costs through expense reduction initiatives."